Writing SMART Objectives: A guide

This long, structured article by Rapid BI provides an in depth look at the history, process, and future of using SMART objectives for enhancing the quality of projects and outcomes. The series begins with a definition of what SMART is as well as how to write SMART objectives. The list goes on to explain variations of SMART objectives, a worksheet to help build them, and a few tips for “setting SMART-er goals”. One of these tips is to understand how achievable is linked to measureable: Achievable is linked to measurable. Usually, there’s no point in starting a job you know you can’t finish, or one where you can’t tell if/when you’ve finished it. How can I decide if it’s achievable? • You know it’s measurable • Others have done it successfully (before you, or somewhere else) • It’s theoretically possible (ie clearly not ‘not achievable’) • You have the necessary resources, or at least a realistic chance of getting them • You’ve assessed the limitations. The article finishes with an intelligent reminder: SMART isn’t created as a one-and-only means of developing objectives. Rather, SMART is designed to help create objectives that cover the most valuable elements of requirements – or to make sure that objectives that have previously been written are valuable. For instance: some users of SMART add a “what is in it for me” measurement to the SMART objectives process, or an interest category of measurement (is it something that a person can get passionate about). While there are a few ways of customizing the SMART system, this article can help you familiarize yourself with the “original” and why having such an evaluation of objectives is beneficial.

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